Foreign Secretary, His Excellency Ahmed Latheef has met with the Chair-Rapporteur of the UN Working Group on Discrimination against women and girls, Ms. Melissa Upreti. The Chair-Rapporteur is currently undertaking a country visit to the Maldives from 11 – 22 September 2022.
During the meeting held yesterday morning, the Foreign Secretary welcomed the Working Group to the Maldives and conveyed appreciation for accepting the Government’s standing invitation to special procedures mandate holders. He also reiterated the commitment of the Government to fully cooperate with the Working Group and assured the Chair-Rapporteur that the Maldives will welcome the recommendations of the Working Group and work towards implementing them. The Chair-Rapporteur took positive note of the great strides made by the Maldives in promoting and protecting human rights, particularly of women and children. Both sides reflected on the mandate of the Working Group and discussed the importance of strengthening efforts at the national level to eliminate of all forms of discrimination against women and girls.
Foreign Secretary was accompanied by Dr. Hussain Niyaaz, Secretary, Mr. Mohamed Aseel Hassan, Legal Counsel, Ms. Mariyam Reesha, Director-General, Ms. Aishath Shahula Assistant Director, and Ms. Mizna Waheed, Chief General Service Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During the visit, the Working Group will meet a number of interlocutors, including those from the executive branch, the legislative branch, the judiciary, independent commissions, civil society and other important stakeholders. The Working Group is also scheduled to visit several islands to assess the situation of women and girls in various regions of the Maldives.
The Working Group will share their preliminary observations at a press conference on 22 September 2022 and present its final report on this visit to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2023.
The Government of Maldives has been forthcoming in its desire to engage more closely with the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms, with genuine efforts being undertaken to conduct an objective assessment of the domestic human rights mechanisms, with a view to further improving and strengthening them.
The UN Working Group on Discrimination against women and girls is a Special Procedures mandate-holder of the UN Human Rights Council that was first established in 2010 on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice. In June 2019, mandate was renamed from the Working Group on discrimination against women in law and practice, to the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls. The mandate was created to intensify efforts to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and girls throughout the world. The Working Group is composed of five independent experts of balanced geographical representation, working collectively as a group and producing work in the name of the mandate.